Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

How to Become a House Sitter: The Complete Guide

Do you enjoy cozy homes and watching over adorable pets? Or maybe you love to travel but want to stay in a house instead of short-term accommodation? You’re not alone!

House-sitting may be a great option to look into for extra income that you can get while traveling around. It may even be a fantastic second job.

It’s an opportunity to stay in someone’s house in exchange for looking after their home and precious pets (if they have any).

Homeowners who want to travel but can’t bring their pets with them or would prefer someone to watch over their house while they’re away seek reliable people to stay in their home.

There are many opportunities for casual house sitters, or you could become a professional house sitter. Some people even become professional pet sitters!

This article will help you understand how to become a house sitter and how to find the best house-sitting opportunities, so stick around.

An Overview of House Sitting: A Primer

House-sitting sounds like a dream gig. You get to live rent-free in beautiful homes! It’s important to know the reality of the job, though, because it does require some hard work.

While the owners offer their home as free accommodation, the expectation is that you will look after the home and pets.

This could require hours of feeding and walking the pets, as well as doing basic house duties like cleaning, collecting mail, and gardening. They expect you to treat the home as if you owned it.

Whether you want to be a domestic or international house sitter, the opportunities are endless around the world. Let’s start your house-sitting journey!

How Much Do House Sitters Make?

Income ranges are based on a variety of factors, such as location, type of animals to look after, number of pets, additional skills and experience, and length of stay.

While some may only provide you with free accommodation, others can pay over $100 a day or more. The short stays that only require you to look after the home pay around $25 a day.

Stays that include looking after animals, especially if they’re farm animals that require significant work and past experience, will pay much more than this.

What You’ll Need to Become a House Sitter [& Associated Costs]

  • Transportation: It’s important to be able to transport yourself to where the house-sitting job is. Depending on whether you’re going domestically or internationally, this may require a car or plane ticket. It’s your responsibility to you to get to the home that you will house-sit.
  • Internet Access and Online Presence: To find house-sitting assignments, you will need to have an online presence which requires internet access. House-sitting jobs are often posted online, so you will need to create a profile and communicate through these websites to start.
  • Insurance: While it’s not required, many house-sitting websites will recommend getting insurance. Having insurance boosts your credibility as a house sitter.
  • Pet Care Supplies: It would look good on your applications if you carry your pet care supplies. If you specialize in dealing with certain animals, such as horses, it may be more comfortable to have tools you’re used to working with.
  • House-Sitting Website Membership: Many of the top websites require you to pay a membership fee to seek out jobs. On many of these, like House Sitters America, you will build a house-sitting profile and be connected to homeowners in a safe way.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a House Sitter?

The most basic start to house-sitting would only require you to pay the membership fee of a house-sitting website.

You would need internet access for this, as well. Typical yearly membership fees range from $20 to $150, depending on the type of site you want to sign up with.

Additional but not essential costs would be insurance, pet care supplies, and additional certifications that may help you stand out, such as a pet first aid course.

Insurance costs start at around $50 a month from most providers and cover basic things like property damage. More extensive plans are available.

Pet care supplies will depend on the type of pet and what supplies you need. While many homeowners will already have these items or even reimburse you, having your personal items may help you feel more comfortable.

Pet first aid courses are usually around $100 and can be online or in-person.

Is It Hard to Become a House Sitter?

Establishing yourself as a professional house sitter takes time, but it’s entirely doable with the right mindset. The most important thing is building a positive reputation because it will help you get the most house-sitting jobs!

Finding house-sitting gigs is the first part, but being a great house sitter may just be the most important part of the job.

Other professional house sitters have often been doing it for many years, so convincing someone to give you a try and then showing them how great you are is important when starting.

How Long Does It Take to Become a House Sitter?

You can become a home sitter as quickly as you can get your first house-sitting job. For many, this is only a few days. For others, it can take a few weeks or months to build relationships and get into the industry.

There are some tips and tricks to getting your first house-sitting gig to get your foot in the door and start building experience. Securing house sits becomes easier as you become more experienced.

How to Become a House Sitter in 4 Simple Steps 

The first steps to becoming a house sitter are simple. The important part starts once you get your first gig and start building your reputation.

Follow these simple steps to get started:

STEP 1: Look at House-Sitting Websites and Build Your Profile

The first step to becoming a house sitter is to build your profile on common house-sitting websites. These sites allow homeowners to seek out potential house sitters based on their profiles.

Plenty of options exist, and some websites are specific for certain skills. If you have specific valuable skills, such as experience with farm animals or maintenance or gardening, then you may find specific websites better for you.

If you have no specific skills that feel applicable, that’s okay too! There are many general opportunities available. Even just being a pet owner yourself at some point in your life could be considered a skill for pet owners looking for a pet sitter.

Some of the top house-sitting platforms you should check out are:

  • House Sitters America
  • Trusted Housesitters
  • Nomador
  • HouseCarers
  • HouseSitMatch

STEP 2: Apply to House-Sitting Jobs

On house-sitting sites, you’ll be able to look for the right house-sitting assignment for you to start. This may be based on the location or the duties involved with that role.

Start applying for jobs that suit your specific needs.

STEP 3: Start House Sitting

Eventually, you will get a house-sitting opportunity!

Once you have some experience under your belt, it will be easier to become known as a trusted sitter. With profile reviews from homeowners, you can find paid jobs easier.

In time, you may also narrow down what your house-sitting services are. Maybe it won’t include pet sits, or maybe you will specialize in a certain type of pet sitting.

STEP 4: Build a Website or Business With Your Network

Once you’ve house-sat quite a few homes, the owners may want to use you outside of the website to avoid fees. You can start your business once you’ve built this network and avoid the costs of membership fees!

This is also a great way to get more jobs as a long-term house sitter, as you’ll be considered one of the highly trusted house sitters!

Reasons to Consider Becoming a House-Sitting

Having your accommodation expenses covered is reason enough for many people to try it, but there are plenty of other great reasons to consider pursuing this.

  • Adorable animals: Pet sitting often means you spend time with adorable pets. If you’re someone that enjoys animals, this is a fulfilling perk that will keep you entertained.
  • New friends: Living in a new place often means you meet the neighbors and the town! If your homeowners are well-established, people may even have heard of you and will be eager to welcome you to town. It’s a great way to meet people.
  • Novel places: It’s a great way to check out different areas of the world that you may not have been otherwise exposed to. Who knows, you may end up loving it so much that you’d want to move there.
  • Long-term sitter: It’s possible to get long-term jobs that can help you avoid paying rent and have the chance to get comfortable in a new place for a longer time. Moving around to different houses exhausts some people, so this is a great option for people like that.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few house-sitting FAQs you may find interesting:

How Do I Market Myself as a Good House Sitter?

You can market yourself as a good house sitter on social media and house-sitting websites. You can also opt for a classified advert in a local paper or stick your advert on public notice boards.

What Makes a Good House Sitter?

Communication is number one! The best tip for having the perfect house-sit is to communicate well with the homeowners.

They may not want too much communication, but just ask them what they want to know while they are away. Many want photos of their pets to know they’re happy and well!

Similar Gigs to Check Out

If parts of the house-sitting experience sound fun, but you’re unsure of the whole thing, you may want to consider other great gig work opportunities to make some extra money.

There are lots of options for working with families and around homes, including:

  • How to Become a Babysitter: If you adore caring for and playing with babies, you can get a taste of house-sitting when babysitting for families. Some will have you stay overnight at their house to watch the kids.
  • How to Become a Landlord: If you find yourself moving around frequently, you may want to rent out your home. Check out the best steps to follow for renting your home out and becoming a landlord.
  • How to Become a Professional Organizer: People need help organizing their homes, so if you’re the person that always finds yourself rearranging to the most efficient method, consider this for a side gig.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, this guide has covered everything you wanted to know about how to become a house sitter and has helped you feel ready to tackle house-sitting jobs.

It’s certainly a fun and rewarding way to explore the world with the benefit of extra comfort.

Let us know what you think about this gig in the comments, and be sure to share it with anyone that might be interested. Happy house-sitting!

Leave a Comment

FRH Article Default
  • Starting a Career

How to Become a Professional Cuddler: A Step-by-Step Guide

September 19, 2023
7 min read
FRH Article Default
  • Starting a Career

How to Become a Health Coach: A Complete Guide for 2023

August 17, 2023
8 min read
vector graphic showing an illustration of a man charging a bird related to how to become a bird charger
  • Starting a Career

Sustainable Mobility, Sustainable Income: How to Become a Bird Charger [In 5 Simple Steps]

August 3, 2023
7 min read

Explore More within Gigworker

Other App-Based Gigs
Get to work faster with jobs in the gig worker industry.
post explore

Browse Our Gig Headquarters

The gig economy is booming, and thanks to COVID-19, more people than ever are getting involved. But what is this new sharing economy and how does it work?

Important Gig Economy #Fundamentals to Understand

gigworker logo icon
What is the Gig Economy?

Member’s Area

Unlock access to forums, groups, downloadable content, exclusive courses, and more – just for members.

Create an Account

Side Hustle Ideas

Get inspired with our list of 750+ side hustles. Sort by category, rating, and other custom taxonomies.

Browse Side Hustles

Gig Companies

Browse our complete list of gig economy companies, and the gigs they’re hiring for.

Helpful Content

Read thousands of informative posts, written specifically to help you excel in your favorite gigs.